Route 66 Bottle Forrest

Sunday 2/18/07

We all got up early and headed off to Elmer Long’s Bottle Tree Forrest in Oro Grande, right on route 66. It’s a great installation. The bottle trees function as very beautiful pedestals for his assemblages, which are mounted on the top.

Elmer says he discourages donations because he’s happy. His wife, Linda, is happy too (Elmer does the dishes). I told him I’m retired from my day job to do assemblage full time and (do the dishes) too. It’s the way to be.

As is often the case with eccentric artists (like ArtCar folk) Elmer was welcoming, lucid, and articulate and his good vibe was infectious. Completing the analogy was Elmer’s dog, Charlie.

We went down route 66 a piece and stopped at the first service station at Oro Grande Center. It didn’t have restrooms so we walked across the street to a park with public bathrooms, but were immediately confronted with friendly, but quite sleazy park denizens. Raya tried to use the ladies room but a lady in there was shouting “Hello” Theresa is that you?” “hello?” Raya tried to communicate at first, but then decidedly wisely that the woman was circling the airport and the ladies room was out of order. Theresa, in fact, was outside accosting a gentleman who was trying to compliment our cars. Half his nose had been shot off or bitten off (not recently). He tried to brush her off:

Nose-man: “Why don’t you leave me alone?”

Theresa: “Why don’t you leave this park alone?”
“Can you PLEEZE not get in a fight do DAY!”

It was clear from her intonation and his face that she was referring to fisticuffs with strangers not squabbles with her. It wasn’t the only hint that we needed to vamoose so we started to mosey, but just at that minute Ken wandered into the men’s room so we all spent an uncomfortable couple of minutes chatting with half a dozen tweaked out desert rats.